SEO Tips for Cannabis Websites & E-Commerce Stores

Build in-depth Product Pages

Your product pages are the most important pages on your e-commerce website.

In order to rank your product pages well. They will need a number of upgrades that will help rank them better in search engines.

Step 1: Write Long Form Product Descriptions

Just like category pages, the product pages should have long-form content about each product that is unique. Ideally, it is over 1,000 words.

Longer content is proven to rank higher in search engines and it’s no different for product descriptions.

Step 2: Add Product Videos

Videos of your products on your product page have multiple positive results that will help:

  • Increase conversion rates
  • Build trust
  • Increase SEO

Whether you add videos of people using your product, how to use your product, feature highlights or simply user testimonial videos, they will help increase your product’s conversion rate and rank your product pages better in search engines.

Bonus Tip: Add your product videos to Vimeo/Youtube and add a link back to your product page from the video description for a free backlink and easy access to your product page!

Step 3: Get Product Reviews on Your Website

Obviously, you are going to have a hard time getting sales or ranking your product pages when your product has no reviews.

In this day in age, people look towards reviews to decide whether or not they want to buy a certain product.

Getting as many reviews as possible on your products will help build social authority, trust, and of course, increase conversion rates!

Having product reviews will also help your product pages rank better in search engines. When you have product reviews and rich snippets (we will talk about them later) your star reviews will show up in Google SERPs which will make your listing stand out and increase the number of people clicking to your site, which is good for SEO.

Create Relevant Educational/Blog Content

As I mentioned before, writing long-form content can be great for ranking your e-commerce category pages and product pages, but you can also build other types of content to generate more traffic to your store.

But before writing any blog posts or articles, you first want to do some research as to what people are searching for.

We can use a tool like Ahrefs and search for our main keyword or service. So let’s go to the content explorer and search CBD. We can then sort by organic traffic to get ideas of the content we could write that gets traffic.

Now we know that an article written around this topic could get 230,000 visitors a month so this would be a great content idea to build.

Make sure your content is focused on your product and answers popular questions people may have about your industry or product.

Here are some other types of content you can build to generate backlinks and traffic:

  • Educational Articles
  • In-Depth Product Reviews
  • Comparison Guides
  • Top Lists

Optimized Internal Linking

Building links to an e-commerce store can be more difficult than other websites so internal linking is very important to pass any link juice throughout your entire e-commerce site.

This is why it’s a good idea to add links to your products in the content throughout your website. Happen to mention your product in a blog post? Add a text link directly to the product page.

The easier it is for your users and Google crawlers to navigate your website, the better your pages will rank.

Build a Google My Business for Local SEO

Whether you are doing local SEO or national SEO, Google My Business is a powerful tool to generate more business online, for free.

Google My Business is Google’s management system for Maps locations and local results.

Hiring WJ Media Group For Your Cannabis Marketing

Hire professionals here at WJ Media Group. We are currently working with numerous cannabis companies, building their websites, and social media presence, and further boosting their SEO and web presence. We provide a secure and trusted service, contact us here. Visit our cannabis marketing page.

7 Tips When Setting Up Your Website

Learn From Previous Site

You can learn so much from your existing website if you have one! Assessing what worked and what didn’t is the first step. if you weren’t hitting your ROI or business goals from your existing site. There will be numerous ways you can improve the customer journey experience for your new site.

It’s important to understand why your website performs the way it does thanks to tools such as Google Analytics. Our recommendation would also be to run a website audit. The audit will give you insights into your website’s current on-page and off-page SEO, load speed, links, usability, performance, social presence, and more. Additionally, research your brand online as a prospective client – what does your brand’s presence online look like?

7 Ways To Optimize Your New Site

1. Domain

Your domain name is your URL – it’s how people find you online. It’s also a reflection of your brand, so make it easy to spell. Further, avoid hyphens or numbers when establishing your domain. Keep your domain name short and memorable, and consider your target audience when creating it for your business. If the domain name is available on social media platforms, you’ll have the advantage of keeping your brand consistent across all digital channels.

2. Website Hosting Provider

Your hosting provider gives the foundation of your website. It’s what keeps your site up and running. when choosing a hosting provider, consider price, features, security, scalability, and uptime guarantee. Be sure to read reviews of potential hosting providers before making your final decision. Need help? We can help you find a hosting provider and remove the stresses of hosting your website. Contact us!

3. Customer Journey

Always take into consideration your customer journey when creating your new site. How can you make the user experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible? Each page of your website should have a goal/purpose, and every element on the page should be there for a reason. Creating a map of your customer journey will ensure that your website is designed with your user in mind.

4. Keyword Research

Keyword research is finding words and phrases that potential customers are using to search for businesses like yours online. Once you have a list of keywords, you’ll want to integrate them throughout your website – in your titles, meta descriptions, header tags, slugs, alt-tags, blog posts, etc. To further make your site more discoverable by search engines.

5. Sitemap + URL Structure

Your sitemap is a list of all the pages on your website. Creating a sitemap helps search engines index your site more effectively and can improve your SEO. Your URL structure is how those pages are organized – it’s the website’s hierarchy. When creating your sitemap and URL structure, you’ll want to keep things simple and easy to understand. This means using descriptive, keyword-rich URLs that are organized logically.

6. Accessibility

Making your website accessible across all platforms and to everyone is essential. That includes those who may use assistive technologies to access your site. When creating your new website, keep accessibility in mind and design accordingly. There are many factors to consider when making a website accessible. But some things you can do include using alt-tags for images or adding transcripts for audio/video content.

7. Push Content Promoting Your Site!

Your website is live, but that doesn’t mean your job is done. To draw traffic to your site, you need to promote your new website! the best way to do so? With authentic, relatable content. from having a great SEO strategy to improving your search engine ranking to paid advertising, social media, or email marketing. Your content strategy should raise brand awareness to drive people to your website and hit your business goals! If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to set up an optimized website for both search engines and users. Need help? Our team of experts can help you with all aspects of website user experience, development, and content, from researching keywords to setting up google analytics. Contact us for a free consultation today!

WJ Media Group

Here at WJ Media Group, we provide the services companies need to successfully market their company through proper web design. We have a broad education in marketing and work with multiple different companies currently. Further, contact us here or at (732) 670-6402.

A Strong SEO Strategy Has Three Core Components

1. Technical Setup

For your website to rank, three things must happen:

First, a search engine needs to find your pages on the web.

Then, it must scan them to understand their topics and identify their keywords.

And finally, it needs to add them to its index — a database of all the content it has found on the web. This way, its algorithm can consider displaying your website for relevant queries.

Seems simple, doesn’t it? Certainly, nothing to worry about. After all, since you can visit your site without any problem, so should Google, right?

Unfortunately, there is a catch. A web page looks different for you and the search engine. You see it as a collection of graphics, colors, text with its formatting, and links.

To a search engine, it’s nothing but text.

As a result, any elements it cannot render this way remain invisible to the search engine. And so, in spite of your website looking fine to you, Google might find its content inaccessible.

Website navigation and links

Search engines crawl sites just like you would. They follow links. Search engine crawlers land on a page and use links to find other content to analyze. But as you’ve seen above, they cannot see images. So, set the navigation and links as text-only.

Simple URL structure

Search engines don’t like reading lengthy strings of words with complex structures. So, if possible, keep your URLs short. Set them up to include as little beyond the main keyword for which you want to optimize the page, as possible.

Page speed

Search engines use the load time — the time it takes for a user to be able to read the page — as an indicator of quality. Many website elements can affect it. Image size, for example. Use Google’s Page Speed Insights Tool for suggestions on how to improve your pages.

Dead links or broken redirects

A dead link sends a visitor to a nonexistent page. A broken redirect points to a resource that might no longer be there. Both provide a poor user experience but also, prevent search engines from indexing your content.

Sitemap and Robots.txt files

A sitemap is a simple file that lists all URLs on your site. Search engines use it to identify what pages to crawl and index. A robots.txt file, on the other hand, tells search engines what content not to index (for example, specific policy pages you don’t want to appear in search.) Create both to speed up the crawling and indexing of your content.

Duplicate content

Pages containing identical or quite similar content confuse search engines. They often find it to be nearly impossible to display any of those pages at all. If search engines do find them, your website can be penalized. For that reason, search engines consider duplicate content as a negative factor.

2. Content

Every time you use a search engine, you’re looking for content — information on a particular issue or problem, for example.

True, this content might come in different formats. It could be text, like a blog post or a web page. But it could also be a video, product recommendation, and even a business listing.

It’s all content.

And for SEO, it’s what helps gain greater search visibility.

Here are two reasons why:

  • First, content is what customers want when searching. Regardless of what they’re looking for, it’s the content that provides it. And the more of it you publish, the higher your chance for greater search visibility.
  • Also, search engines use content to determine how to rank a page. It’s the idea of relevance between a page and a person’s search query that we talked about earlier.

While crawling a page, they determine its topic. Analyzing elements like page length or its structure helps them assess its quality. Based on this information, search algorithms can match a person’s query with pages they consider the most relevant to it.

The process of optimizing content begins with keyword research.

Keyword Research

SEO is not about getting any visitors to the site. You want to attract people who need what you sell and can become leads, and later, customers.

However, that’s possible only if it ranks for the keywords those people would use when searching. Otherwise, there’s no chance they’d ever find you. And that’s even if your website appeared at the top of the search results.

That’s why SEO work starts with discovering what phrases potential buyers enter into search engines.

The process typically involves identifying terms and topics relevant to your business. Then, converting them into initial keywords. And finally, conduct extensive research to uncover related terms your audience would use.

With a list of keywords at hand, the next step is to optimize your content. SEOs refer to this process as on-page optimization.

On-Page Optimization

On-page optimization, also called on-page SEO, ensures that search engines a.) understand a page’s topic and keywords, and b.) can match it to relevant searches.

Note, I said “page” not content. That’s because, although the bulk of on-page SEO work focuses on the words you use, it extends to optimizing some elements in the code.

You may have heard about some of them — meta-tags like title or description are the two most popular ones. But there are more. So, here’s a list of the most crucial on-page optimization actions to take.

Note: Since blog content prevails on most websites when speaking of those factors, I’ll focus on blog SEO — optimizing blog posts for relevant keywords. However, all this advice is equally valid for other page types too.

3. Links

From what you’ve read in this guide so far, you know that no page will rank without two factors — relevance and authority.

In their quest to provide users with the most accurate answers, Google and other search engines prioritize pages they consider the most relevant to their queries but also, popular.

The first two areas — technical setup and content — focused on increasing relevance (though I admit, some of their elements can also help highlight the authority.)

Links, however, are responsible for popularity.

But before we talk more about how they work, here’s what SEOs mean when talking about links.

What is a backlink?

Links, also called backlinks, are references to your content on other websites. Every time another website mentions and points its readers to your content, you gain a backlink to your site.

Link Building

In SEO, we refer to the process of acquiring new backlinks as link building. And as many practitioners admit, it can be a challenging activity.

Link building, if you want to do it well, requires creativity, strategic thinking, and patience. To generate quality links, you need to come up with a link-building strategy. And that’s no small feat.

Remember, your links must pass various quality criteria. Plus, it can’t be obvious to search engines that you’ve built them deliberately.

Here are some strategies to do it:

  • Editorial, organic links: These backlinks come from websites that reference your content on their own.
  • Outreach: In this strategy, you contact other websites for links. This can happen in many ways. You could create an amazing piece of content, and email them to tell them about it. In turn, if they find it valuable, they’ll reference it. You can also suggest where they could link to it.
  • Guest posting: Guest posts are blog articles that you publish on third-party websites. In turn, those companies often allow including one or two links to your site in the content and author bio.
  • Profile links: Finally, many websites offer an opportunity to create a link. Online profiles are a good example. Often, when setting up such a profile, you can also list your website there as well. Not all such links carry strong authority, but some might. And given the ease of creating them, they’re worth pursuing.
  • Competitive analysis: Finally, many SEOs regularly analyze their competitors’ backlinks to identify those they could recreate for their sites too.

WJ Media Group: SEO Experts

Here at WJ Media Group, we provide the services companies need to successfully market their company using SEO. We have a broad education in marketing and work with multiple different companies currently. Further, contact us here or at (732) 670-6402.

5 SEO Tips for Cannabis Marketers in 2022

1. Do in-Depth Keyword and Competitor Research

You should appreciate the fact that you are not the only CBD business online and therefore check what competitors are doing to rank higher on google searches. Of course, you should only check the ones performing well online. Check to know the kind of strategy your competitor is employing to stay on top of the game.

Another crucial detail you should check is the keywords that your competitor is targeting. CBD keyword research is undoubtedly important when it comes to increasing the ranking of your website. You need to collect a detailed semantic core, which will later help you create a structure and content plan, as well as find low keyword difficulty (KD) keywords that can bring quick results. Also evaluating your competitor’s structure will help you identify the loopholes in it and do it differently to stay ahead.

After identifying such target keywords, you will then be able to build your effective SEO strategy around them. When linking, only use quality links. For instance, only link to reputable sites. On the same note, make sure only high-ranking and relevant sites link back to you. Note that a single high-quality link is worth thousands of sub-standard links.

2. Create a Perfect Site Structure

If you have a CBD e-commerce store, then you must have an ideal structure created (both for search robots and for people). You need to put down all the main sections of your website and envision the structure, breaking it down into subsections and then specific pages. It is also worth pointing out that you need to adhere to the golden rule “1 keyword group = 1 landing page” – that is, each page on the site must answer its own group of queries, and not create several pages for one keyword group.

When categorizing pages, the following SEO tips for marijuana dispensaries will guide you:

  • Ensure every page can be accessed effortlessly regardless of how complex your structure is.
  • When building a hierarchy, do not solely rely on target keyword search volume since the most searched query is not always the top keyword for each page.
  • If you want to use filtering options, be careful when implementing them, especially if used alongside each other.
  • Make sure your site is scalable. This ensures that whenever you want to incorporate new categories and subcategories, you can achieve that without reworking your structure.

3. Perform Technical SEO for Your Website

You can write great content that sweeps readers off their feet and build great links. However, if you don’t implement technical search engine optimization, your site will not grow as rapidly as you thought it will after doing all that.

Therefore, you need to do qualitatively technical SEO once and then focus on others. Always remember that the technique is the basis for the growth of SEO indicators.

Sometimes you might be tempted to be a link schemer when building backlink strategies but this will eventually hurt your overall ranking.  Try to monitor your anchor links and understand the situation on the market. Make sure only authoritative and trustworthy websites link back to you. You can also contact cannabis sites and request links. Or still, you can find a professional link-building company to create CBD backlinks for you.

Sometimes you could find yourself with toxic backlinks. In this case, you can get rid of them so that your ranking on Google is not affected. The Google Search Console gives you a report with a breakdown of such links. From there, you can initiate a disavow process and then add your list to Google Search Console so that Google knows that such links are no longer in any way associated with your weed brand.

5. Analyze Your Data and Track Your Performance

An SEO campaign cannot be complete without analytics. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze the data and draw certain conclusions and adjust the strategy. Luckily, you can track your traffic and conversions through Google Analytics. Our cannabis SEO services can help you identify what is and what is not performing for your cannabis on-page SEO, as well as we will analyze the whole website and promotional strategies to help your site perform better and achieve more prominent results. Get in touch with us today as you start your new traffic.

WJ Media Group

Contact us here or at (732) 670-6402. WJ Media Group can provide extensive knowledge of cannabis marketing.

Cannabis eCommerce Websites: 5 Must-Have Features

Independent eCommerce Platform

When deciding how to sell cannabis online, retailers can either use a third-party marketplace or have their own eCommerce website. In the long run, owning an independent eCommerce platform is certainly a better option than using a marketplace. Having your own cannabis eCommerce website gives you complete control over the design, product information, and branding. Unlike a third-party marketplace that offers little room for customization. Another valuable benefit is that you can market it directly to online visitors and existing customers and build brand loyalty.

Data Ownership For Building Relationships

To market your online cannabis platform directly to your target demographics, it’s essential to have access to their contact details. This is not possible when you use third-party marketplace platforms. With an independent eCommerce platform, you will not just own your website. But also all customer information and other relevant data to help you create innovative marketing campaigns. And further, offer a more personalized online customer experience. Through email marketing and loyalty program communications. You can keep your customers regularly engaged with your brand and grow your business. Grow by building long-lasting relationships.

Mobile and SEO-friendly Website

These days, consumers regularly use their smartphones to search the web and make online purchases. Hence, your eCommerce website must function properly not just on desktops but on mobile devices as well. You must avoid using an iFrame embedded menu. Employed by many third-party marketplaces, as Google won’t crawl or index your website. To ensure that your online cannabis store is discoverable. Further, use an advanced native eCommerce solution that aids in building SEO authority. If your chosen solution offers the ability to create content. Then you can also capitalize on SEO best practices to improve the flow of organic traffic to your website.

Age-Gating and Compliance Features

If you’re selling products online that have legal age restrictions, then an age-gate on your website is a must. This is not just a compliance requirement, but it also demonstrates your commitment to not exposing cannabis to minors. Many regulatory authorities are mandating more robust online age-gating measures beyond a simple “Are you 21+ yes or no” pop-up. It’s essential to choose a solution that offers the functionalities for you to comply with the laws. Your cannabis eCommerce store also has must-have features that allow for compliance with legal purchase limits. In addition to any other online regulations within your state or province.

Integration with POS and Cannabis Ecosystem

Most importantly, your chosen eCommerce solution must integrate seamlessly with your POS system. This is for further efficient inventory management, transactions, and payment processing. Ensure that you are using an advanced cannabis POS system that syncs with leading cannabis tech ecosystem solutions. So that you can streamline your online business and maintain a recurring revenue stream from it. For a seamless shopping experience, your customers should be able to browse the website. Then, place an order, pay online and request pickup or delivery.

WJ Media Group

Here at WJ Media Group, we provide the services cannabis companies need to successfully market their company. We have a broad education in cannabis marketing and work with multiple different companies currently. Further, contact us here or at (732) 670-6402.

Cannabis Marketing & SEO in 2022

Organic Traffic is Your Best Friend

Paid search is usually an obvious channel for eCommerce companies to invest in.

Unfortunately, it’s not the best option if you intend on targeting a lot of popular cannabis-related products.

Google categorizes cannabis as a “dangerous product” under the subcategory “Recreational drugs”, which it defines as:

“Ads for substances that alter mental state for the purpose of recreation or otherwise induce ‘highs’”

It specifically mentions “marijuana” as one of these drugs and even those that provide “legal highs”. Cannabis-derived CBD is out; hemp-derived CBD is OK, as long as you don’t mention it.

Therefore, if you’re trying to sell products for the “recreational use” of cannabis, you’re out of luck with Google Ads.

Google-owned YouTube is no different. Over time, it has relaxed its stance on weed-related content. If your videos push the boundaries regarding illegal activities, expect YouTube to take action.

And even if you play it straight with your videos, you can’t link to your website in the description if you sell products. Growers, cultivators, and distributors of cannabis products. Obviously, ads for these products are a no-go, too.

Facebook isn’t a fan of marijuana, either. You definitely can’t run ads for your cannabis products on this platform. You can further try to start pages around marijuana but expect Facebook to take those down pretty quickly. Unless you make a “lifestyle” page about more general topics and only post about marijuana occasionally. You’ll eventually attract the wrong kind of attention from Facebook.

That may not always be the case, but this kind of volatility makes the social media giant a poor choice for cannabis companies looking for reliable marketing ROIs.

Use “Cannabis SEO” to Attract Traffic to Your Site

So, the name of the game is “cannabis SEO”. A term that has grown in popularity as more and more companies realize they’ll need to focus mainly on organic traffic to find new customers online.

But before you go pursuing SEO for your cannabis products, be sure to check with your hosting provider to make sure they don’t have any rules against talking about the drug on sites they support. It’s becoming less and less common these days. Even though you should double-check before putting “cannabis” and “marijuana” everywhere on your eCommerce website. Otherwise, you could find out the hard way that your provider will pull hosting for selling these products.

Otherwise, the trick of cannabis SEO is that it’s pretty much the same as the traditional version

As such, you’ll need to do your keyword research and then create relevant service/product pages and blog posts around them.

Fortunately, the cannabis industry has come such a long way that there are plenty of websites out there already generating plenty of traffic. Use competitor analysis to see what’s working for their SEO campaigns and you can reap the same results. Further avoiding going through the same amount of trial-and-error.

While content marketing may be necessary to hit all of your cannabis SEO goals. Prior to creating your category pages, make sure you have SEO-friendly product descriptions. Depending on how competitive your piece of the industry is, this may be enough to start seeing results relatively quickly. You can always go back and create blog posts later.

But Don’t Completely Give Up on Paid Ads

Now, as long as you’re not selling products that customers could use to ingest cannabis, you may be able to use Google Ads to advertise your products.

You still can’t use terms like “cannabis” and “weed” in the text for your ads or on their corresponding landing pages, but Google will let you target these kinds of queries.

Ads show up. They just don’t mention any unapproved terms.
Most buyers in this industry are savvy enough to know what kinds of products they need even if their pages don’t have “MARIJUANA” flashing in big green lights.

Interestingly enough, it looks like a lot of relevant terms carry fairly low average CPCs, too. Given how much ambiguity there is around using PPC ads for cannabis, I guess this shouldn’t be too surprising, though.

Market Yourself on The Right Platform

You can build your company’s reputation within the legalized marijuana market by submitting blog posts to relevant industry websites.

As with other elements of SEO, this approach is nothing new. Guest posting has been an important strategy for years.

The big advantage you have as a manufacturer of cannabis products is that this industry is still relatively new, meaning there may be a huge demand for your expertise without the corresponding supply.

For example, if your company sells packaging supplies, you probably know a thing or two that growers who are new to the business would be excited to learn about.

You could blog about this topic on your own site, but when you’re just starting out, you may see a lot more value by offering this guest post to an industry site that gets significantly more traffic. Not only will you earn a helpful backlink. You’ll also put your company in front of all of those prospects who regularly visit – and trust – that site for information about their industry.

Networking

Still, if your company is new to the industry, it could be extremely helpful for your marketing goals to attend trade shows and other events. Aside from meeting with potential customers face-to-face, you can also learn about their unique needs.

This approach can prove especially helpful for B2B cannabis companies as some of your prospects’ demands may not be wholly apparent just by running reports with SEO software.

Again, if your company sells packaging examples, perhaps growers have specific needs that they struggle to find online. By speaking to these requirements on your site, you’ll have an easier time keeping the traffic you attract, which means lowering your bounce rate (great for SEO) and earning more conversions.

Affiliate Marketing

Depending on the types of cannabis products you sell, affiliate marketing may be an option, too. In short, this strategy is when you outsource your marketing to companies and individuals who earn commissions when they bring you sales. There’s no upfront cost to your business.

Just like with influencer marketing, many companies have used cannabis-specific affiliate programs to launch their products and skyrocket sales in a very short period of time.

Starting your own affiliate marketing program is easy enough. In order to attract effective marketers, you’ll need to spread the word unless your SEO is already paying off. Growing your network by attending industry events could also help you find these potential partners.

WJ Media Group 

Here at WJ Media Group, we provide the services cannabis companies need to successfully market their company. We have a broad education in cannabis marketing and work with multiple different companies currently. Further, contact us here or at (732) 670-6402.